Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet way back in 1973.
Before that, he worked on ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet.
In addition to being an under-geek, Bob is also a master salesman.
Let me quote something about Bob from Emanuel Rosen’s excellent book "Anatomy of Buzz."
"Bob Metcalfe, father of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, told Scott Kirsner how young MIT engineers often came to him for advice.
After they go through his six-story town home in Boston’s Back Bay, many of them say something like "Wow! What a great house! I want to invent something like Ethernet."
At this point Metcalfe has to sit down and explain, "No, I don’t have this house because I invented Ethernet. I have this house because I went to Cleveland and Schenectady and places like that. I sold Ethernet for a decade."
OK, with that as a background, listen carefully to what Bob has to say about video and salesmanship, especially in the post script at the very end of the interview. Profound stuff.
You read it on this blog first (over the past twelve months), but the industry magazines are starting to catch on.
Here’s an excellent article on video and eCommerce in "Internet Retailing."
Click here for the article: Blending Video and eCommerce.
YouTube…it’s not the only free video hosting site in the world, but it definitely has the highest profile.
Everyone from Chevrolet to Warner Brothers to Paris Hilton is in the game.
What’s the appeal of YouTube to these big bucks promoters? Are there any guerilla-type YouTube "secrets" us little guys can use to get more promotional bang from the service?
Yes there are…
Subscriber Dan Buglio point this one out to me…
It’s the newest project of the BabyUniverse.com, an Internet conglomerate which describes itself as "the leading content, commerce, and new media company in the pregnancy, baby, and toddler marketplace."
Not a bad place to be. New parents spend A LOT of money.
They don’t have much choice about it either and the new babies keep coming – thank God.
The site has a lot of bugs (at least with my Firefox-Apple set up), but I like where they’re going with it.
It offers articles, video on demand, and what they call "Baby U-Tube" which will let folks upload their own videos. I think it makes a TON of sense to offer produced content and user-provided content.
What I’m not sold on is the need for 24/7 streaming "live" TV which they also offer. Then again, maybe it’s a relief for mom’s to just turn the set on and watch without having to make a decision. Lord knows that’s how people have been conditioned to interact with TV and radio.
I guess technically it’s no big deal. Just line up all the programs you want to stream and push start and there’s your live TV. I still have a visceral memory of hosting a radio show and appearing on television programs. A very hand on, big overhead undertaking. But with "Live" Internet TV, you probably don’t need a soul other than someone to keep an eye on the server from time to tim.
A year and a half ago, Mike Stewart and I were on the phone talking about possible business uses for Internet video.
He pointed out that by simply using an online video to demonstrate how to set up a phone-recording unit he sells, he got a huge boost in his conversion rates.
Makes sense, right?
How many times have you shied away from a purchase, especially in the realm of consumer electronics, where you had the money and the desire, but just couldn’t figure out which model to buy?
I don’t know about you, but it happens to me all the time.
"Why don’t the consumer electronics companies train prospects to use their products with Internet video? Talk about a slam dunk and a massive ROI," I blurted out.
Well, either they were listening in on our conversation or great minds think alike.
Sony tried it (with help from a Austin-based company called Powered.) The result? Visitors to Sony’s online customer training site convert to buyers at the rate of 25%.
Now Sony is starting to syndicate this content to its retail partners like Circuit City.
Not all multi-billion dollar ideas need to be rocket science.
Hwo can YOU use this?